Yale Young African Scholars - Mohamed Shaaban
Updated: May 19, 2020
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Hometown: Alexandria, Egypt
Undergraduate: Computer Science at Jacobs University, Germany
Mohamed, tell us more about yourself.
I grew up in Alexandria, Egypt. I am currently a freshman studying Computer Science at Jacobs University here in Bremen (Germany). My biggest two passions are computer science and parkour.
When did you consider applying for the Yale Young African Scholars?
I considered applying when I was in 10th grade. As I read more about the program (see website), it seemed very helpful and fun. It also offered a full scholarship, inclusive of tuition, meals, and lodging costs.
YYAS is an official program from Yale University for African secondary school students who are interested in potentially studying abroad. However, the program takes places in an African country. During the program, students receive guidance on how the application process works - financial aid, writing essays, selecting universities, etc.
You should definitely apply if you are an African secondary school student interested in applying abroad. You get to meet great people, learn about how the application process work, visit an African country… and it is free.
How did you prepare for your application?
The hardest part of the application process were the essay questions and recommendation letters. You have to be thoughtful about your essays and they can take some time. Requesting recommendation letters can also take time. I also had to gather a list of extracurricular and leadership activities for the first time.
I would say applying for the program helped me figure out how to apply - which was helpful later when I applied to college.
Which country did you visit? What was your experience like?
Zimbabwe. It was a really amazing experience and it was my first time visiting another African country. The experience was both fun and helpful. I learned so much in a week. For example, there were sessions to practice SAT questions, sessions to practice editing essays, etc. The best part for me was getting to meet students from across Africa.